136 posts categorized “China Aid”

February 24, 2014

We Won’t Lose Heart

Government persecution of Christians living in China is on the rise, but “we won’t lose heart,” said Bob Fu, founder of ChinaAid.

According to ChinaAid’s recent 2013 report, persecution cases increased by 38.82 percent from 2012 to 2013 when considering data in the following six categories: number of cases, number of people persecuted, number of people detained, number of people sentenced, number of abuse cases, and number of people abused.  The most significant increase was in the number of people persecuted. In 2012, 4,919 people were persecuted for their faith, compared with 7,424 people in 2013, a 50.9 percent increase.

Three-Self Church
A government-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement church building in China.

The Chinese constitution guarantees freedom of religion. And visitors to the country can see that the church is certainly not absent in China. Bibles are available through government-approved churches, and people are allowed to attend services at government-approved locations and times. This, however, is not the reality for many evangelical Christians in China.

Churches that are not members of the state-run Three-Self Church are often viewed with contempt. Members of house churches are viewed as dissenters, and authorities try a variety of tactics to get them to conform. Pastors and church members alike have been persecuted for not conforming to policies of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) and for refusing to give up their outspoken faith. In 2013, there were 1,470 people detained for Christian activities.

Among those detained in 2013 are two men who were trying to help local believers open a new Christian book store in Taiyuan, Shanxi province. On June 17, 2013, Wenxi Li was sentenced to two years in prison and Lacheng Ren was sentenced to five years in prison for their involvement with the Enyu Bookstore, which government authorities called an “illegal business.” While awaiting trial, Wenxi led three people to Christ. His family plans to appeal the case.

China may try to control and restrict the Christian faith, but believers are demonstrating that Christ has already won their true freedom. 2 Corinthians 4:15–17 reads:

“For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

While they risk their personal safety and sometimes face false imprisonment, they trust in God’s future glory. They do not lose hope that God will continue to use them and many more will come to Christ. They won’t lose heart.

“Ann Kay” is a writer for VOM. She learned about VOM five years ago when she read Tortured for Christ and began receiving the newsletter. She is passionate about reaching the world for Christ and sharing stories of the persecuted church.

Sources: ChinaAid, VOM Sources


November 15, 2013

Bob Fu Interviewed by Glenn Beck (Part 2)

VOM friend and coworker Bob Fu, president of China Aid Association, with which VOM partners to help persecuted Christians in China, was interviewed earlier this week by Glenn Beck. The interview occurred just days after Bob spoke at the VOM Regional Conference in Atlanta.

Yesterday we shared the first segment of this interview on the Persecution Blog, where Bob talked about his personal testimony and how China's one-child policy forced him and his family to flee from China. In this second segment Bob shares what imprisoned Christians in China face, including how one Christian was forced to make Christmas lights for export to the United States.

 

You can read Bob’s complete story, and the amazing way he worked for the gospel right under the noses of communist authorities in China, in his new book, God’s Double Agent. Order your copy online at www.VOMBooks.com.


November 14, 2013

Bob Fu Interviewed by Glenn Beck (Part 1)

VOM friend and coworker Bob Fu, president of China Aid Association, with which VOM partners to help persecuted Christians in China, was interviewed earlier this week by Glenn Beck. The interview occurred just days after Bob spoke at the VOM Regional Conference in Atlanta.

We will share two segments of the interview here on the Persecution Blog. In this first segment Bob shares a little of his personal story of coming to Christ—and then being persecuted—in China, and also talks about the forced abortion policy that continues in that nation and how that policy motivated him and his wife to flee their homeland.

 

You can read Bob’s complete story, and the amazing way he worked for the gospel right under the noses of communist authorities in China, in his new book, God’s Double Agent. Order your copy online at www.VOMBooks.com.

Come back to the Persecution Blog tomorrow for another segment of the interview.


July 22, 2013

Chinese Bookstore Workers Jailed

Last Dec. 19, Chinese officials arrested two men involved in setting up a new Christian bookstore in Taiyuan, China. Wenxi Li, a bookstore worker from Beijing, traveled to Shanxi province in 2012 to help local Christians, including Lacheng Ren, stock, set up and open a new bookstore. He brought several hundred Christian books with him from Beijing. But police raided the bookstore and confiscated all the books Wenxi brought. 

China_Raid
Police left quite a mess after raiding the licensed bookstore in 2012.

On Dec. 19, police asked Wenxi to appear at the police station to retrieve the $6,000 worth of books that police had seized. When he arrived at the police station, though, he was immediately arrested. Hours afterward, police went to Lacheng Ren’s home and arrested him also.

Wenxi was denied bail, according to police, because of the seriousness of his “crime.” His wife, Cai Hong Li, said police told her that her husband was arrested because he was involved in an “illegal business.” However, Cai Hong said the bookstore had a legal license to operate and that her husband was not involved with managing the business. He was “just sent to find a rental place for a new store,” Cai Hong said.

While in prison awaiting trial, Wenxi led three people to Christ. His family expected a quick release, but instead, on June 17, Wenxi was sentenced to two years in prison. Lacheng Ren was given a five-year prison sentence.

Since her husband’s arrest, Cai Hong said she and her two children have received harassment from anonymous sources. She added that she fears for her children’s safety.

Wenxi’s family is planning to appeal his case.

Since the launch of www.PrisonerAlert.com, VOM has heard from numerous former prisoners that letters from international Christians are a huge encouragement. In numerous cases the letters have also resulted in better treatment, and in some cases even early release, for the prisoners. Will you take a few minutes today to write a letter of encouragement to Wenxi Li and Lacheng Ren?


 


January 31, 2013

Criminal or Hero?

Pastor Shi Weihan, now also known by his English name, John Stone, was arrested in China on Nov. 29, 2007. As a bookstore owner, he sold books with the government’s permission, but Pastor Shi also printed and freely distributed Bibles and other Christian books on the side. On June 10, 2009, he was sentenced to three years in prison on a charge of violating “the regulations of the state in printing illegal publications,” according to the official indictment.

While Shi was in prison, VOM readers sent his family letters in response to a story about him on VOM’s www.PrisonerAlert.com website. Pastor Shi was released from prison in February 2011 and later left China with his family to pursue studies at Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas. He recently met with VOM workers to talk about his time in prison and share how much the letters from VOM readers meant to him and to his family.

 


December 28, 2012

URGENT: Korean Pastor Threatened with Expulsion from China

Screen Shot 2012-12-28 at 4.37.53 PM(Shanghai--Dec. 27, 2012) A Korean pastor is being threatened with expulsion after the house church worship service at which he was preaching on Sunday was raided by Shanghai police, ChinaAid has learned.

The Korean pastor surnamed Hu was right in the midst of his sermon at 2 p.m. on Dec. 23 to the Zhenguang (True Light) House Church, in the Xiangshan (Fragrant Hills) New Housing Development, in Shanghai's Pudong New Area, when the officials from the Public Security Bureau, Religious Affairs Bureau and local police station grabbed him and took him into custody and dispersed the meeting.

Hu was held for two hours and not released until 4 p.m.  He was told he would be expelled from China.

ChinaAid calls on Christians worldwide to pray for Brother Hu.

Source: China Aid


September 17, 2012

Bob Fu: God's Double Agent

Screen shot 2012-09-17 at 1.36.34 PMRecently Christianity Today did a highlight piece on Bob Fu from China Aid.  Bob has served the persecuted church for many years and has recently received more notariety for his work with the persecuted church in China.

Here's a snip for you:

Activist-pastor Bob Fu once called himself "God's double agent" because he taught English during the day at a Chinese communist school and conducted home Bible studies at night.

But now Fu is based in Midland, Texas, where he heads ChinaAid, which provides legal assistance and support to pastors, political dissidents, and couples resisting China's one-child policy. This new focus brings Chinese and American Christians closer together in common cause. His advocacy against China's brutal one-child policy is proving to be highly effective in drawing believers from both nations into the fight for the unborn as well as for greater religious freedom.

In May and early June, Fu played an influential role in three events that drew global attention to the one-child policy and forced abortion:

• Dissident blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng, whose 2005 research uncovered 130,000 forced abortions in one province in China, fled house arrest in a dramatic nighttime escape to the American Embassy in Beijing. With assistance from Fu and many others, Chen traveled to New York on a student visa.

• Feng Jianmei, a woman from Shaanxi Province, was pregnant without official permission. Authorities arrested her and forced her to undergo a late-term abortion. A photo of her and her dead baby went viral on the Internet. Many pro-life websites, including All Girls Allowed and ChinaAid, drew global attention to the illegal practice of forced late-term abortion.

• Cao Ruyi and her husband Li Fu were expecting a child without official permission. Officials arrested Cao and threatened abortion. The couple contacted ChinaAid, which drew global attention to the couple's plight. This, in part, motivated family-planning officials to back down.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE

 


August 30, 2012

Lawyers for Gao Zhisheng Barred from Visiting Gao in Prison

We have urgent breaking news from our friends at China Aid concerning the latest with Gao Zhisheng.

Click here to read the full report.

Screen shot 2012-08-30 at 3.39.04 PM(Shaya, Xinjiang—Aug. 28, 2012) Two lawyers for jailed Christian lawyer Gao Zhisheng were denied a meeting with him Monday by authorities at the prison in far west China where he has been held since last December, following years of being “disappeared” into police custody. 

ChinaAid learned that prominent Beijing human rights lawyers Li Xiongbing and Li Subin, engaged by Gao’s eldest brother, traveled Sunday from Xinhe county to Shaya county, in the remote part of the region of Xinjiang where Gao is being held. Along the way, they were stopped at a police guard post where their IDs were checked.
 
At 8 a.m. Monday, the two set off for Shaya prison from the county seat on the only road to the prison, which was fenced off on both sides by barbed wire. En route, they were stopped again for ID checks and an inspection of the trunks of their two vehicles. Upon arrival at the prison at 9 a.m., they made their request to see Gao to the police officer on duty at the desk, Dong Ping.  (Photo: Shaya Prison)
 
Dong said that they needed prior approval by the prison authorities to visit Gao. Because the prison administrators were holding their Monday meeting of the Communist Party branch committee and an administrative affairs meeting, no decision could be made until the meetings had ended and the prison administrators were consulted about whether the two lawyers could visit.

Click here to read the full article at China Aid.


July 25, 2012

China Aid Honored by Congress for Ten Year Anniversary

The following is from our friends at China Aid...

[DSC_4997%255B3%255D.jpg](Washington, D.C.—July 24, 2012) A member of Congress was to congratulate ChinaAid on Tuesday in formal remarks from the congressional floor marking the group’s 10-year anniversary.

In prepared remarks made available to ChinaAid, Rep. John Carter (R-Tex.) described ChinaAid as being “at the forefront of the struggle for freedom and rights in China” and said it has been “doing important work.”

“ChinaAid is not only an effective voice for the voiceless, but is also working to make sure China’s human rights defenders are able to speak up against injustice,” the former judge said.

After giving a brief history of ChinaAid and its founder, Pastor Bob Fu, Carter said, “The work of his organization is vital, it is effective, it is bipartisan, and it is necessary.  Everyone here in Congress will agree, a future China that respects the freedom of speech, the freedom to worship, and the rule of law will be a critical strategic partner with the United States.”


Carter was one of the VIPs ChinaAid invited to speak at its Tuesday morning seminar on “Human Rights, Religious Freedom and Rule of Law in China: A 10-Year Review and Future Prospects."

Below is the full text of Rep. Carter’s prepared remarks, which will be entered into the Congressional Record:  Click here to read the full speech.


July 11, 2012

China: Government Shuts Down Theological Training Camp

Screen shot 2012-07-11 at 4.45.09 PMChina (MNN) ― One of Henry Ford’s most famous alleged sayings with the production of the Model T vehicle in 1908 was, “You can have any color as long as it’s black.”

This humorous quote may relate to the trite subject of car color. But is there a similar mindset in China’s treatment of a Christian’s freedom to worship?

The Communist government of China states in Article 36 of its constitution, “Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief.”

However, Greg Musselman through Voice of the Martyrs, Canada’s source, ChinaAid, says, “Over the next ten years, [China’s government] has made a stated document…that actually shows a three-phase plan to eradicate house churches or unregistered churches and then gett them all together under the three-self patriotic church which then allows the government to control the church.”

Some wonder what the big deal is with registering a house church in China anyway. Musselman explains, “There may be some good things going on within the government-controlled churches [if they are] preaching a salvation message, but really that is frowned upon by the government. So many I have talked to over the years are saying that the control of the government is not really a true church [with] the freedom to preach the whole Bible.”

One recent example of governmental crackdown on unregistered church activity took place two weeks ago, June 26, when Chinese government officials forced a teacher theological training camp for pastors to shut down.

The Chinese Theological Society is registered in Hong Kong, but not with the Chinese government where they held the training in Southern China. “They were doing some training…and near the end of their training time, the religious police came in and shut them down. And again, it’s a part of the intimidation process that the Chinese government often uses to try to force the underground Christians or the house church Christians into registering.”

ChinaAid says that cases of Christian persecution like these in China have increased by 20%.

However, Musselman points out that they don’t always make the headlines, since many of the more serious cases of persecution don’t always happen in the big cities. “China is such a massive country and many places are very rural, and so we don’t often hear the stories until much later, if at all in some cases.”

Yet, Christianity is flourishing and growing, both in the registered and unregistered churches. “The interesting thing is that there are more Christians in China than anywhere in the world,” says Musselman. “Some of the sources we’ve heard say that there are over 100 million, maybe as high as 120 million, who identify themselves as Christians.”

Musselman asks for prayer "that the Lord will give the [church] leaders wisdom and strength not to compromise.”

Source: Mission Network News